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In our Building Your Dream Home series, we've been talking about creating a vision for our families' future. Our goal in life, in our marriages and for our kids is always for the long term. When is comes to our kids, we don't want them to be living in our basements when they are 30 years old. We want them to be prepared to leave & succeed. How do we prepare our kids to succeed in the future? The Family Vision Worksheet and our current series can help by bring some clarity and focus to our families. Here's a few other thoughts:



1) COMMUNICATE IN THEIR LANGUAGE: Communication is key in any relationship. When it comes to dealing with attitude, behavior, building character and development, we want to make sure we communicate in a way that motivates our kids. Dr. Gary Chapman says that everything depends on the love relationship between you and your child. When children feel loved, they do their best. You can read more about this in his book, 5 Love Languages for Children.

2) TEAM UP. DON'T DO IT ALONE. GO BEYOND YOUR CAPACITY.: All parents have limited time and experience, but what if we could parent beyond our own capacity? We need to take responsiblity to train up our kids, but we can also expand the number of influences in our kids lives. Parents who partner with the faith community expand their influence. It's the best way to bring the next generation into the family of God and build a foundation for their best life ahead of them. You can read more about this here. There are helpful tools connected to our Journey Kids stuff  that can expand your capacity on a parents blog here.  

3) BE THE BOSS. KIDS DON'T KNOW WHAT'S BEST: We all want what's best for our kids, but we can't just do things to make our kids happy. We have to keep the future in view. Your kids personal happiness doesn't always equal the best decisions to train them up in the way they should go. They don't know how to train themselves, we need to lead our kids. We can't just be a friend, we have to be a parent. If we just try to make them happy, we're not likely to impact their heart in the way that will train them for the future. We can end up creating self-centered kids instead of building character for their future success.

In his book, Kid CEO, Ed Young talks about how in some cases, children enter the family arena and begin to slowly become the center of the family universe as parents relinquish control to them. In effect, the children become Kid CEOs and the parents become the support staff. This ultimately has devastating effects on both the marriage and the family itself. We can love and support our kids while training them for the future without letting them run our lives & families. 

4) BE YOUR OWN SUPER NANNY & FOLLOW THROUGH WITH YOUR VALUES: Do you remember that show when they would call in this Super Nanny because the kids were out of control? What really happened was less development of kids and more development of the parents skills and communication. Dr. Kevin Leman talks about moving past the endless yelling and how parents need to follow through with what we say, that parents can expect the best for our kids, and how parents need to hold our kids accountable for their actions. You can read more about this in his book, Have a New Kid by Friday, as he shares thoughts on how to change our kids attitudes, behavior and character. If we want to instill our family values in our kids, parents need to follow through with encouragement and discipline to form these attitributes in our kids.